After I finished writing the first edition of Programming Entity Framework, 832 pages long, I announced to anyone within earshot that if I every talked about writing another book to just shoot me.
After I finished writing the second edition of Programming Entity Framework, which came in at nearly 900 pages, I said “I really mean it this time"!
And then Entity Framework 4.1 was released with Code First modeling and the sweetness of the DbContext and other additions to this API.
Many asked me if I would update the book. I said “no” a thousand times and explained in this blog post, EF4 books and EF 4.1, why revising the entire book for what amounts to two small additions that don’t impact the core behavior of Entity Framework made no sense.
But you still asked.
I wrote articles and created videos.
But you still asked for a new book.
And then in a moment of insanity (I believe it was during 5 long hours of driving alone in the car to my parents’ house), I decided that maybe I could just write a short book that would essentially “tack-on” to Programming Entity Framework Second Edition.
And so it goes…this is what I am now working on. But I got smart this time! This spring, I worked on a series of content for MSDN with Rowan Miller from Microsoft. Rowan is a Program Manager on the ADO.NET Entity Framework team and has been instrumental in EF 4.1. He knows it better than most anybody. Certainly better than I do! And he’s a good writer. He’s a bit less verbose than I am (you can wrap that in exaggeration) but I’ve been working on him. I liked working on that project with Rowan and it did not take a lot of convincing to get Rowan to agree to do a book with me. I’m very lucky to have him as a partner-in-crime for so many reasons!
Rowan and I are collaborating on all aspects of this project. We are both writing, but we are working very closely together so that it is not disjointed. We’ll have a common writing style and there will be a storyline and buildup of code from beginning to end. We are helping each other with decisions about samples and how information should flow.
The Game Plan
We are writing two “mini-books” for O’Reilly Media. We are writing them as though they are a continuation of Programming Entity Framework. I expect that we’ll have the same Seychelles Blue Pigeon on the cover (or some twist on that). We’ll work with the same business domain , Breakaway Geek Adventures, and there will be references to the previous book (2nd edition). There’s just no reason to repeat explanations of API stuff that is the same.
The pattern for these books follows other recent offerings from O’Reilly. They will be short-ish (targetting 100 pages each) and presented as e-books (with print on demand availability). The first book will focus on Code First – more specifically, on building a model, database initialization etc. The second book will start where the first book ends focusing on the other half of EF 4.1, DbContext, DbSet etc. In this book we’ll be able to write real code with the combination of DbContext (etc) and Code First. This is where we’ll create some sample apps, repository, do some testing etc. We are already about 1/2 way through writing the Code First book and hope these will be out in mid-fall.
If you take a look at the CouchDB books that Bradley Holt ( a friend and neighbor and one of the Vermont Code Camp organizers – just coincidentally ) has written — Writing and Querying MapReduce Views in CouchDB, First Edition and Scaling CouchDB, First Edition (with more to come)), this is what Rowan and I are doing. Note that Bradley’s books are also on Amazon (etc) and available for Kindle too. I don’t know how the pricing will work out.
The e-books will be in color (yay!). So as we copy our code from Visual Studio, we are leaving the code coloring in tact. The print books will be black & white.
We want to get all of the core writing done by mid-September, otherwise Rowan won’t be able to go attend his wedding and honeymoon. That wouldn’t be a great way to start a marriage, so we’re working hard toward this goal.
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